Tag: coronavirus

White House Press Corps to American People: Hold My Corona

 

On Leap Year Day, President Trump made a second appearance in the vipers’ pit that is the White House Press Briefing Room. The lying media lived down to their nature, proving once again why they should only be engaged under the roar of Marine One’s engines. These creatures are salivating at the thought of you or your loved ones dying or losing your job or nest egg, and are desperately beating the drums for a catastrophe that will sweep them and their politicians into permanent power.

Coronavirus and Anti-Semitism

 

We have seen the Democrat Party pulled hard back into its bad old ways of Jew-hatred, now thinly dressed up as opposition to the government of Israel that has been repeatedly elected and supported by the majority of Jews in Israel. We have seen repeated demands, from Western Europe to American universities, for the economic destruction of the one nation in the world with a Jewish majority population. Now comes news of another advanced technology innovation from that most hated of states.

Jerusalem Post

It’s an all-crazy Thursday on the Three Martini Lunch! Join Jim and Greg as they get a kick out of Democratic presidential hopefuls already explaining why they’re going to keep running regardless of how badly they do in South Carolina and on Super Tuesday. They also shake their heads as the mainstream media all suddenly make the coronavirus a political issue to hammer the Trump administration. And they wince as the Trump campaign urges South Carolina Republicans to cross over and support Bernie Sanders in Saturday’s Democratic primary.

Fevered Calculations: Heck No, Brownie Moment

 

“If you torture numbers enough, they will say anything you want. If you are good enough, you will not leave any fingerprints.”
— As told by my father, recounting his college statistics professor’s opening lecture

There are all sorts of numbers being thrown around about the Chinese coronavirus, COVID-19. There are all sorts of political agendas underlying every aspect, from governments, to social media content providers (that could be you and me), to paid “journalists.” How are we to think about the risks, the odds, the potential dangers at present and stretching ahead? Also, how is President Trump to avoid a disastrous “Heck of a job, Brownie” moment?

“Heck of a job, Brownie!” Actually “You’re doing a heck of a job, Brownie.” Those were the careless words of President George W. Bush, as he flew over the unfolding disaster of Hurricane Katrina. He defended these words, later, by claiming he just wanted to buck up the troops, to encourage the federal disaster response team. However, every word uttered on camera or on an audio link is a message to the public as well. It will not do to point fingers at the Louisiana Democrats, governor, and mayor. Hurricanes are national government business, and “heck of a job”, while individuals and families are experiencing catastrophe, is a special kind of stupid, a Bush family kind of stupid. Watch President Trump’s statements closely, as every word said or unsaid will be used against him.

Trump’s Team Speaks Again on COVID-19 [updated with author transcription]

 

President Trump’s team of healthcare agency leaders, centered in Health and Human Services, held a second big press briefing on the response to the Chinese coronavirus, calling COVID-19 by its nation of origin after the Chinese Communist government threw Wall Street Journal reports out of the country for a headline and story that was not complimentary of the communist regime. The official Trump administration position is more honest than the craven crew of Wall Street Journal “journalists” who are siding with the CCP propaganda claim of WSJ “racism.”

Here is the 44 minute video, of the February 25, 2020 HHS COVID-19 press briefing followed by the prepared remarks from the HHS website:

Join Jim and Greg as they tackle a wide variety of martinis today.  First, they are gratified to see a sexual predator like Harvey Weinstein headed to prison for rape and sexual assault although they’re disappointed to see him acquitted on the most serious charges.  They also cringe as the spread of coronavirus in South Korea, China, and Italy send global markets sharply lower.  And they shake their heads as they walk through all the massive tax hikes Bernie Sanders wants to inflict in order to pay for has laundry list of new entitlement programs. And they preview what should be a feisty debate among the Democrats in South Carolina tonight.

I’d Like to Pass on the Corona

 

I haven’t seen a post on Ricochet talking specifically about the coronavirus, now known as 2019-nCoV or COVID-19, since Rodin’s post on the 7th. Let me take this opportunity to provide a short update from the other side of the world in Yokohama, Japan. While it’s not China, and not as bad off as China, the way this outbreak is progressing, Yokohama is now, as I’ll explain below, another front in the COVID-19 outbreak. Although I was in the Navy and spent time working in Emergency Management, now I’m just a plain ex-pat enjoying my retirement overseas, so most of what I’ll relate here comes from personal observations and local news sources.

Even with the occasional friction that occurs between China and Japan, Japan remains a favored destination for Chinese travelers. Before the outbreak kicked off, there were tons of Chinese tourists at popular locations across Japan every day. The last time I visited Kyoto a couple of years ago, the big tourist sites, buses, and sidewalks were packed as I had never seen them before. The famous shopping area in Tokyo called Ginza was crowded every day with tour buses and tourists, and while not all of them were Chinese, a vast majority appeared to be. However, starting at about the beginning of this month, Japan’s tourist locations saw traffic dry up. A store owner at Asakusa, one of the most popular sites in Tokyo, just mentioned on a news program that the number of tourists is way down, about 10 percent of normal, or a drop of 90 percent. One of the bigger duty-free stores called Laox, which sells electronics and electrical goods, is decreasing its workforce by 20 percent due to the outbreak.

Although it’s a different scale than China, the number of people in Japan infected with COVID-19 continues to slowly increase, as of today at 63, which I believe is the second highest after China. The first reported case of Japanese who tested positive with COVID-19, but had not visited Wuhan, was a bus driver who had driven a tour group of Chinese from Wuhan a few weeks ago. Soon afterward, a tour guide that had worked on one of his routes was also confirmed to have it. Whether the guide caught it from tourists from China or the driver hasn’t been reported, although this was a big question in the news a couple of weeks ago.

Member Post

 

The coronavirus epidemic has led to much discussion of the fact that a globalized world can greatly facilitate the spread of such plagues; see for example Spiegel International, also Richard Fernandez. But a highly-connected world also enables the spread of many other kinds of bad things: political and religious terrorism and telephone-based scams, to name […]

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Coronavirus Advice from the World of Laboratory Safety

 

My job is laboratory safety. I work with a wild range of various labs that have a cornucopia of crazy chemicals and a plethora of pathogens. I take part in over 100 laboratory inspections per year, along with responding to questions and acting as an in-house consultant for my institution. There is a surprising amount of you can use from the laboratory safety world in normal life where you make crispy garlic bread rather than CRISPR/Cas9 lentivirus vectors.

Wash Your Hands

There is a reason people mention handwashing as part of nCoV-2019 preparedness, and it is a recurring theme in all of our safety courses. Washing your hands thoroughly is a reliable way to remove pathogens and toxic chemicals. Disinfectant handwashes are not needed — a good scrubbing will physically remove far more contaminants than a disinfectant will kill. I actually prefer a good industrial hand cleaner (STOKO Solopol is a personal favorite) after cleaning or using the bathroom. Scrubbing your hands is actually less harmful to non-harmful bacteria on your skin, as they typically are adapted to stick tightly to your skin’s micro-scale environment. I’ve never heard from someone practically involved in safety you does not recommend handwashing.

Prepare for another busy political week by starting with Monday’s Three Martini Lunch. Join Jim and Greg as they enjoy watching Pete Buttigieg flail for an answer after ABC’s Linsey Davis calls him out for black people being four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites while Buttigieg was mayor of South Bend. They also hammer the Chinese government after the Justice Department indicts four Chinese military figures for the 2017 Equifax hack that compromised the information of more than 145 million people. And they react to more bizarre statements from Joe Biden over this past weekend and wonder whether his campaign is just stumbling right now or whether it’s on the brink of imploding.

Coronavirus Update

 

President Trump’s team has come out with an initial briefing on the coronavirus outbreak, offering facts, cautions, and pushing back against panic. Johns Hopkins University has an excellent data visualization tool, constantly updating data on maps: “2019-nC0V Global Cases (by Johns Hopkins CSSE). CNET has a fact-based story, with lots of links, that is being regularly updated; it is now titled: “Coronavirus cases pass 11,000, US declares emergency: Everything we know.”

This was a display of competent communication to the American public, treated as adults. Dr. Redfield gave the numbers. Dr. Fauci then explained the question posed by people on Ricochet, including me: why is this different from the well-known annual deaths from the seasonal flu?* With the numbers and the differentiation in place, the briefers laid out a series of screening and quarantine steps that will go into full effect Sunday. Anyone who has been in the province where the outbreak started will be quarantined for 14 days, while those coming from other areas with known infections would be screened and then go into “self-quarantine.” They were also careful to speak of sympathy and compassion for the Chinese people who have been affected, directly or with family losses.

Here is the video and the whole transcript, of the press briefing, followed by the text of the presidential proclamation. Both the transcript and the proclamation are posted on the White House website.

Hold My Corona: Popping the Top on Preparedness

 

A brief dip into Twitter prompted a brief bit of research, and the results seemed worth sharing in the current news or hype cycle. Now I know, why on earth would I be on Twitter when there is talk of a new virus and we all know avian flu is supposed to be quite nasty? I was there for entirely other reasons when I stumbled upon a retweet of a professional pundit thinking he was offering a hot take. Hot tweet? More like steaming hot bird droppings.

Hold My Corona: China Showing Basic Civic Competence

 

Thanks to the PowerLine crew, Ricochet members got better insight into what is and is not happening in China than we got from any other media outlet. Steven Hayward had an American in Wuhan give a field report.

If you had ears to hear, you should be both reassured and worried. You should be reassured that China is competently responding to a public health threat. You should be concerned and relieved that the Chinese government and institutions are truly competent, capable of learning from past experiences. That makes them a more dangerous regional and global competitor at the same time as we can assume they are less likely to blunder incompetently into a major war.

Haiti and Chile are polar opposites. The mostly flat island nation literally fell apart with a major earthquake. Chile, a mountainous land astride the ominously named “Ring of Fire,” politely declines sincere offers from the US and Israeli urban search and rescue teams because their buildings do not just fall down and crush the occupants. Why? Because Haiti is a terminally corrupt society and Chile is deadly serious about accountability, ensuring all buildings are truly earthquake resistant. No sketchy enforcement of concrete rebar codes in Chile, unlike Haiti or even Mexico. The lack of casualties after major earthquakes is an important indicator of government competence and civic accountability.

Member Post

 

I haven’t seen this mentioned anywhere, so I’ll toss it out. I was looking at a map of China today, checking the distance between Wuhan and Guangzhou. It’s about 600 miles. I was curious because I have a shipment of electronic parts being put together in Guangzhou, and I want it to get out before […]

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